Evidence for a Young World

Evidence for a Young World

by Dr. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D.

Here are fourteen natural phenomena which conflict with the evolutionary idea that the universe is billions of years old. The numbers listed below in bold print (usually in the millions of years) are often maximum possible ages set by each process, not the actual ages. The numbers in italics are the ages required by evolutionary theory for each item. The point is that the maximum possible ages are always much less than the required evolutionary ages, while the Biblical age (6,000 years) always fits comfortably within the maximum possible ages. Thus, the following items are evidence against the evolutionary time scale and for the Biblical time scale. Much more young-world evidence exists, but I have chosen these items for brevity and simplicity. Some of the items on this list can be reconciled with the old-age view only by making a series of improbable and unproven assumptions; others can fit in only with a recent creation.

1. Galaxies wind themselves up too fast.

The stars of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, rotate about the galactic center with different speeds, the inner ones rotating faster than the outer ones. The observed rotation speeds are so fast that if our galaxy were more than a few hundred million years old, it would be a featureless disc of stars instead of its present spiral shape.1 Yet our galaxy is supposed to be at least 10 billion years old. Evolutionists call this “the winding-up dilemma,” which they have known about for fifty years. They have devised many theories to try to explain it, each one failing after a brief period of popularity. The same “winding-up” dilemma also applies to other galaxies. For the last few decades the favored attempt to resolve the puzzle has been a complex theory called “density waves.”1 The theory has conceptual problems, has to be arbitrarily and very finely tuned, and has been called into serious question by the Hubble Space Telescope’s discovery of very detailed spiral structure in the central hub of the “Whirlpool” galaxy, M51.2

Spiral galaxy
Spiral galaxy NGC 1232 in constellation Eridanus (photo courtesy of European Southern Observatory).

2. Too few supernova remnants.

According to astronomical observations, galaxies like our own experience about one supernova (a violently-exploding star) every 25 years. The gas and dust remnants from such explosions (like the Crab Nebula) expand outward rapidly and should remain visible for over a million years. Yet the nearby parts of our galaxy in which we could observe such gas and dust shells contain only about 200 supernova remnants. That number is consistent with only about 7,000 years worth of supernovas.3

Crab Nebula
Crab Nebula (photo courtesy of NASA)

3. Comets disintegrate too quickly.

According to evolutionary theory, comets are supposed to be the same age as the solar system, about five billion years. Yet each time a comet orbits close to the sun, it loses so much of its material that it could not survive much longer than about 100,000 years. Many comets have typical ages of less than 10,000 years.4 Evolutionists explain this discrepancy by assuming that (a) comets come from an unobserved spherical “Oort cloud” well beyond the orbit of Pluto, (b) improbable gravitational interactions with infrequently passing stars often knock comets into the solar system, and (c) other improbable interactions with planets slow down the incoming comets often enough to account for the hundreds of comets observed.5 So far, none of these assumptions has been substantiated either by observations or realistic calculations. Lately, there has been much talk of the “Kuiper Belt,” a disc of supposed comet sources lying in the plane of the solar system just outside the orbit of Pluto. Some asteroid-sized bodies of ice exist in that location, but they do not solve the evolutionists’ problem, since according to evolutionary theory, the Kuiper Belt would quickly become exhausted if there were no Oort cloud to supply it.

4. Not enough mud on the sea floor.

Each year, water and winds erode about 20 billion tons of dirt and rock from the continents and deposit it in the ocean.6 This material accumulates as loose sediment on the hard basaltic (lava-formed) rock of the ocean floor. The average depth of all the sediment in the whole ocean is less than 400 meters.7 The main way known to remove the sediment from the ocean floor is by plate tectonic subduction. That is, sea floor slides slowly (a few cm/year) beneath the continents, taking some sediment with it. According to secular scientific literature, that process presently removes only 1 billion tons per year.7 As far as anyone knows, the other 19 billion tons per year simply accumulate. At that rate, erosion would deposit the present mass of sediment in less than 12 million years. Yet according to evolutionary theory, erosion and plate subduction have been going on as long as the oceans have existed, an alleged three billion years. If that were so, the rates above imply that the oceans would be massively choked with sediment dozens of kilometers deep. An alternative (creationist) explanation is that erosion from the waters of the Genesis flood running off the continents deposited the present amount of sediment within a short time about 5,000 years ago.

Mud in the sea
Rivers and dust storms dump mud into the sea much faster than plate tectonic subduction can remove it.

5. Not enough sodium in the sea.

Every year, rivers8 and other sources9 dump over 450 million tons of sodium into the ocean. Only 27% of this sodium manages to get back out of the sea each year.9,10 As far as anyone knows, the remainder simply accumulates in the ocean. If the sea had no sodium to start with, it would have accumulated its present amount in less than 42 million years at today’s input and output rates.10 This is much less than the evolutionary age of the ocean, three billion years. The usual reply to this discrepancy is that past sodium inputs must have been less and outputs greater. However, calculations that are as generous as possible to evolutionary scenarios still give a maximum age of only 62 million years.10 Calculations11 for many other seawater elements give much younger ages for the ocean.

Salt in the sea

6. The earth’s magnetic field is decaying too fast.

The total energy stored in the earth’s magnetic field (“dipole” and “non-dipole”) is decreasing with a half-life of 1,465 (± 165) years.12 Evolutionary theories explaining this rapid decrease, as well as how the earth could have maintained its magnetic field for billions of years are very complex and inadequate. A much better creationist theory exists. It is straightforward, based on sound physics, and explains many features of the field: its creation, rapid reversals during the Genesis flood, surface intensity decreases and increases until the time of Christ, and a steady decay since then.13 This theory matches paleomagnetic, historic, and present data, most startlingly with evidence for rapid changes.14 The main result is that the field’s total energy (not surface intensity) has always decayed at least as fast as now. At that rate the field could not be more than 20,000 years old.15

Electrical current in the earth's core
Electrical resistance in the earth’s core wears down the electrical current which produces the earth’s magnetic field. That causes the field to lose energy rapidly.

7. Many strata are too tightly bent.

In many mountainous areas, strata thousands of feet thick are bent and folded into hairpin shapes. The conventional geologic time scale says these formations were deeply buried and solidified for hundreds of millions of years before they were bent. Yet the folding occurred without cracking, with radii so small that the entire formation had to be still wet and unsolidified when the bending occurred. This implies that the folding occurred less than thousands of years after deposition.16

8. Biological material decays too fast.

Natural radioactivity, mutations, and decay degrade DNA and other biological material rapidly. Measurements of the mutation rate of mitochondrial DNA recently forced researchers to revise the age of “mitochondrial Eve” from a theorized 200,000 years down to possibly as low as 6,000 years.17 DNA experts insist that DNA cannot exist in natural environments longer than 10,000 years, yet intact strands of DNA appear to have been recovered from fossils allegedly much older: Neandertal bones, insects in amber, and even from dinosaur fossils.18 Bacteria allegedly 250 million years old apparently have been revived with no DNA damage.19 Soft tissue and blood cells from a dinosaur have astonished experts.20

DNA

 

9. Fossil radioactivity shortens geologic “ages” to a few years.

Radiohalos are rings of color formed around microscopic bits of radioactive minerals in rock crystals. They are fossil evidence of radioactive decay.21 “Squashed” Polonium-210 radiohalos indicate that Jurassic, Triassic, and Eocene formations in the Colorado plateau were deposited within months of one another, not hundreds of millions of years apart as required by the conventional time scale.22 “Orphan” Polonium-218 radiohalos, having no evidence of their mother elements, imply accelerated nuclear decay and very rapid formation of associated minerals.23,24

Radio Halo
Radio Halo (photo courtesy of Mark Armitage)

10. Too much helium in minerals.

Uranium and thorium generate helium atoms as they decay to lead. A study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research showed that such helium produced in zircon crystals in deep, hot Precambrian granitic rock has not had time to escape.25 Though the rocks contain 1.5 billion years worth of nuclear decay products, newly-measured rates of helium loss from zircon show that the helium has been leaking for only 6,000 (± 2000) years.26 This is not only evidence for the youth of the earth, but also for episodes of greatly accelerated decay rates of long half-life nuclei within thousands of years ago, compressing radioisotope timescales enormously.

11. Too much carbon 14 in deep geologic strata.

With their short 5,700-year half-life, no carbon 14 atoms should exist in any carbon older than 250,000 years. Yet it has proven impossible to find any natural source of carbon below Pleistocene (Ice Age) strata that does not contain significant amounts of carbon 14, even though such strata are supposed to be millions or billions of years old. Conventional carbon 14 laboratories have been aware of this anomaly since the early 1980s, have striven to eliminate it, and are unable to account for it. Lately the world’s best such laboratory which has learned during two decades of low-C14 measurements how not to contaminate specimens externally, under contract to creationists, confirmed such observations for coal samples and even for a dozen diamonds, which cannot be contaminated in situ with recent carbon.27 These constitute very strong evidence that the earth is only thousands, not billions, of years old.

12. Not enough Stone Age skeletons.

Evolutionary anthropologists now say that Homo sapiens existed for at least 185,000 years before agriculture began,28 during which time the world population of humans was roughly constant, between one and ten million. All that time they were burying their dead, often with artifacts. By that scenario, they would have buried at least eight billion bodies.29 If the evolutionary time scale is correct, buried bones should be able to last for much longer than 200,000 years, so many of the supposed eight billion stone age skeletons should still be around (and certainly the buried artifacts). Yet only a few thousand have been found. This implies that the Stone Age was much shorter than evolutionists think, perhaps only a few hundred years in many areas.

13. Agriculture is too recent.

The usual evolutionary picture has men existing as hunters and gatherers for 185,000 years during the Stone Age before discovering agriculture less than 10,000 years ago.<Deevey, E. S., The human population, Scientific American 203:194–204 (September 1960). Yet the archaeological evidence shows that Stone Age men were as intelligent as we are. It is very improbable that none of the eight billion people mentioned in item 12 should discover that plants grow from seeds. It is more likely that men were without agriculture for a very short time after the Flood, if at all.30

Graph: number of documents over time
 

14. History is too short.

According to evolutionists, Stone Age Homo sapiens existed for 190,000 years before beginning to make written records about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. Prehistoric man built megalithic monuments, made beautiful cave paintings, and kept records of lunar phases.31 Why would he wait two thousand centuries before using the same skills to record history? The Biblical time scale is much more likely.<Dritt, J. O., Man’s earliest beginnings: discrepancies in evolutionary timetables, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (1991), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 73–78, order from http://www.creationicc.org/.

Additional resources for items 9–11.

Footnotes

  1. Scheffler, H. and Elsasser, H., Physics of the Galaxy and Interstellar Matter, Springer-Verlag (1987) Berlin, pp. 352–353, 401–413.
  2. D. Zaritsky, H-W. Rix, and M. Rieke, Inner spiral structure of the galaxy M51, Nature 364:313–315 (July 22, 1993).
  3. Davies, K., Distribution of supernova remnants in the galaxy, Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (1994), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 175–184, order from http://www.creationicc.org/.
  4. Steidl, P. F., Planets, comets, and asteroids, Design and Origins in Astronomy, pp. 73-106, G. Mulfinger, ed., Creation Research Society Books (1983), order from http://www.creationresearch.org/.
  5. Whipple, F. L., Background of modern comet theory, Nature 263:15–19 (2 September 1976). Levison, H. F. et al. See also: The mass disruption of Oort Cloud comets, Science 296:2212–2215 (21 June 2002).
  6. Milliman, John D. and James P. M. Syvitski, Geomorphic/tectonic control of sediment discharge to the ocean: the importance of small mountainous rivers, The Journal of Geology, vol. 100, pp. 525–544 (1992).
  7. Hay, W. W., et al., Mass/age distribution and composition of sediments on the ocean floor and the global rate of sediment subduction, Journal of Geophysical Research, 93(B12):14,933–14,940 (10 December 1988).
  8. Meybeck, M., Concentrations des eaux fluviales en elements majeurs et apports en solution aux oceans, Revue de Géologie Dynamique et de Géographie Physique 21(3):215 (1979).
  9. Sayles, F. L. and P. C. Mangelsdorf, Cation-exchange characteristics of Amazon River suspended sediment and its reaction with seawater, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 43:767–779 (1979).
  10. Austin, S. A. and D. R. Humphreys, The sea’s missing salt: a dilemma for evolutionists, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (1991), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 17–33, order from http://www.creationicc.org/.
  11. Nevins, S., [Austin, S. A.], Evolution: the oceans say no!, Impact No. 8 (Nov. 1973) Institute for Creation Research.
  12. Humphreys, D. R., The earth’s magnetic field is still losing energy, Creation Research Society Quarterly, 39(1):3–13, June 2002. http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/39/39_1/GeoMag.htm.
  13. Humphreys, D. R., Reversals of the earth’s magnetic field during the Genesis flood, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (1986), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 113–126, out of print but contact http://www.creationicc.org/ for help in locating copies.
  14. Coe, R. S., M. Prévot, and P. Camps, New evidence for extraordinarily rapid change of the geomagnetic field during a reversal, Nature 374:687–92 (20 April 1995).
  15. Humphreys, D. R., Physical mechanism for reversals of the earth’s magnetic field during the flood, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (1991), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 129–142, order from http://www.creationicc.org/.
  16. Austin, S. A. and J. D. Morris, Tight folds and clastic dikes as evidence for rapid deposition and deformation of two very thick stratigraphic sequences, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (1986), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 3–15, out of print, contact http://www.creationicc.org/ for help in locating copies.
  17. Gibbons A., Calibrating the mitochondrial clock, Science 279:28–29 (2 January 1998).
  18. Cherfas, J., Ancient DNA: still busy after death, Science 253:1354–1356 (20 September 1991). Cano, R. J., H. N. Poinar, N. J. Pieniazek, A. Acra, and G. O. Poinar, Jr. Amplification and sequencing of DNA from a 120-135-million-year-old weevil, Nature 363:536–8 (10 June 1993). Krings, M., A. Stone, R. W. Schmitz, H. Krainitzki, M. Stoneking, and S. Pääbo, Neandertal DNA sequences and the origin of modern humans, Cell 90:19–30 (Jul 11, 1997). Lindahl, T, Unlocking nature’s ancient secrets, Nature 413:358–359 (27 September 2001).
  19. Vreeland, R. H.,W. D. Rosenzweig, and D. W. Powers, Isolation of a 250 million-year-old halotolerant bacterium from a primary salt crystal, Nature 407:897–900 (19 October 2000).
  20. Schweitzer, M., J. L. Wittmeyer, J. R. Horner, and J. K. Toporski, Soft-Tissue vessels and cellular preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex, Science 207:1952–1955 (25 March 2005).
  21. Gentry, R. V., Radioactive halos, Annual Review of Nuclear Science 23:347–362 (1973).
  22. Gentry, R. V. , W. H. Christie, D. H. Smith, J. F. Emery, S. A. Reynolds, R. Walker, S. S. Christy, and P. A. Gentry, Radiohalos in coalified wood: new evidence relating to time of uranium introduction and coalification, Science 194:315–318 (15 October 1976).
  23. Gentry, R. V., Radiohalos in a radiochronological and cosmological perspective, Science 184:62–66 (5 April 1974).
  24. Snelling, A. A. and M. H. Armitage, Radiohalos—a tale of three granitic plutons, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (2003), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 243–267, order from http://www.creationicc.org/.
  25. Gentry, R. V., G. L. Glish, and E. H. McBay, Differential helium retention in zircons: implications for nuclear waste containment, Geophysical Research Letters 9(10):1129–1130 (October 1982).
  26. Humphreys, D. R, et al., Helium diffusion age of 6,000 years supports accelerated nuclear decay, Creation Research Society Quarterly 41(1):1–16 (June 2004). See archived article on following page of the CRS website: http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/41/41_1/Helium.htm.
  27. Baumgardner, J. R., et al., Measurable 14C in fossilized organic materials: confirming the young earth creation-flood model, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (2003), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 127–142. Archived at http://globalflood.org/papers/2003ICCc14.html.
  28. McDougall, I., F. H. Brown, and J. G. Fleagle, Stratigraphic placement and age of modern humans from Kibish, Ethiopia, Nature 433(7027):733–736 (17 February 2005).
  29. Deevey, E. S., The human population, Scientific American 203:194–204 (September 1960).
  30. Dritt, J. O., Man’s earliest beginnings: discrepancies in evolutionary timetables, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (1991), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 73–78, order from http://www.creationicc.org/.
  31. Marshack, A., Exploring the mind of Ice Age man, National Geographic 147:64–89 (January 1975).

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How Long was the Seventh Day?

How Long was the Seventh Day?

by James Stambaugh, M.DIV.*

        An important topic of debate for many years has been the length of the days in Genesis 1. Some who hold to the standard uniformitarian chronology insist that the days lasted perhaps billions of years, and point to Hebrews 4:1-11 in an attempt to demonstrate that the seventh day is still in progress. Their point is apparent; if the seventh day is a long period of time, then so are the other days, and the supposed multi-billion-year history of the earth and universe is intact.

        The issue regarding the length of the seventh day will be examined in two ways: First, the context must be studied. There is an old adage that “A text without a context is a pretext.” Second, one must understand what is meant by “rest” in this section, and the purpose of the reference to the sabbath. Once these have been examined, the length of the seventh day will be clear.

The Context Of Hebrews 4:1-11

        Our text, Hebrews 4:1-11, is in the middle of a warning passage (3:7-4:13). There are five such passages in the entire book.1   The warning passages generally are “concerned with the danger of apostasy. There were some in the readership who had made a profession of faith in Christ but were seriously considering returning to Judaism.”2   Each warning is concerned with a particular issue.

        The issue in this passage is the superiority of Christ to Moses. “The writer pauses to warn against a similar lapse of faith from Christ, as was demonstrated in the days of Moses. The implication is that since Christ is superior, such a lapse would be all the more reprehensible.”3   Disobedience and unbelief caused the failure of Moses’ generation to enter God’s promised rest. Verses 1 and 11 build perseverance in the readers, and warn them not to return to Judaism.

        The point of this warning is to stay faithful to Christ. What we do with Christ now determines whether or not we will enter a future rest. “The picture that begins to emerge is one where this future rest is entered into by faith in the historic present.”4   The Sabbath rest of this passage is not present, but future.

“Rest” In Hebrews 4:1-11

        The concept of “rest” in Scripture is multifaceted, yet it is important to the understanding of this passage. This can be seen in the definitions and kinds of “rest.” There are three words used for “rest”; two are from the same Greek root, a noun and a verb translated “rest,” and the word is “sabbath rest,” used only here (v.9) in the New Testament. The verb form of the former gives the idea of stopping from work; while the noun form may be used figuratively as a place or situation of rest. The concept of “sabbath-rest” will be considered in more depth below. The kinds of rest are theological interpretations based on the various definitions of “rest.” There appears to be at least four kinds used in the whole warning (3:7-4:13): Creation rest (4:4); Canaan rest (3:7-19); Salvation rest (4:1, 3a, 8), and Eternal rest (4:10,11) including the “Sabbath rest” (v. 9). 6   The “rest” can also be viewed typically (the land of Canaan), present (our salvation), and future (the eternal state), with creation rest used as a past analogy. This illustrates the multifaceted use of “rest” in this warning passage.

        The Old Testament concept of “rest” appears to serve as a basis for “rest” in this passage. The Old Testament view is itself multifaceted, where “rest” is used in five ways: “1) literal, physical rest (Genesis 8:4); 2) rest in death (Job 3:13); 3) psychological-spiritual rest (Proverbs 29:17); 4) physical rest in the land based on God’s promise to defeat Israel’s enemies (Deuteronomy 12:10; Joshua 21:44), and 5) the theology of the sabbath (Genesis 2:2, 3; Exodus 20:11).” “God intended that man share in the creation (sabbath) rest, but that Adam’s fall occurred and the sabbath rest was forfeited. The way back to this rest is provided in the coming kingdom.”God’s rest is related to the sinless perfection of the first sabbath, which was lost when Adam rebelled. This problem is corrected in the future “rest” that is promised.

        Psalm 95:7-11 is quoted in this warning passage and draws our attention to a specific time of “rest.” This psalm occurs in a group of Enthronement Psalrns (93-100), and it has been suggested that Psalms 95 and 96 should be viewed together.The distinctive nature of these psalms is that they celebrate the reign of God. Kaiser observes: “But our Psalm (95:7-11) warns [against unbelief], before it breaks into the triumphant strains of Psalm 96 with its announcement in song of the final, universal reign of the Lord.”So Yet the basic tone of these psalms is that they look to the future. 10 So when Psalm 95 is used in Hebrews 4, it is pointing to the future reign of God.

        Now that we have briefly examined the background and general use of “rest” in Hebrews 4:1-11, let us examine why “rest” is used in connection with the sabbath. The problem as it relates to the length of the Genesis days and the age of the earth is well stated by Newman: “The fourth chapter of Hebrews tells us that the believers can still enter into the rest of God mentioned in Genesis 2:2. This may be understood figuratively to mean that we, too, can someday rest just as God did long ago. But a more literal interpretation could suggest either that God is still resting (day-age view) and that we are living now in the seventh day, or that God has not yet begun to rest, as the seventh day is still in the future.”11  Archer believes that the seventh day is still continuing: “Scripture does not at all teach that Yahweh rested only one twenty-four-hour day at the conclusion of His creative work. No closing formula occurs at the close of the seventh day, referred to in Genesis 2:2. And, in fact, the New Testament teaches (Hebrews 4:1-11) that that seventh day, that `Sabbath rest,’ in a very definite sense has continued on right into the church age.” 12  Dr. Kent holds the view that the seventh day is future (he also believes in a six-literal-day creation), but also observes: “This does not imply that the seventh day was not a literal day with an evening and a morning, just as the previous six days of creation. However, the author has used the silence of Scripture on this point to illustrate his argument that God’s sabbath rest has never ended.”13  The author of Hebrews refers back to the creation in Hebrews 4:9, telling us that there is still this type of rest available. The author is exhorting his readers to diligent obedience, with the hope of future rest. Hughes says: “The expression `sabbath rest’ links the concept of the promised rest still more closely with the account of creation, in which the seventh or sabbath day was the day on which God rested from his labors.”14  The author wants us to notice that the future “rest” will be like the past “rest” when God finished His creation.

The Nature Of Our Rest

        It has been demonstrated that the “rest” in this passage is future, and is similar to the first sabbath “rest.” What remains to be discussed is the future nature of that “rest.” There are two views on the timing of this “rest”: The first is that the “rest” is the millennial rest. This view is held by some premillennialists. The second view believes that the “rest” is the eternal state. Most amillennialists and some premillennialists hold this view.

        Of the first view, which presents the “rest” as a millennial “rest,” Oberholtzer says: “The sabbath rest interrupted by the fall of Adam will be restored in the coming age. The millennium will be an extension of the original sabbath.” 15  This view does handle most of the evidence well. It observes that the context of the passage is a warning, and promises future reward. It accepts the fact that the Psalm 95 quote is ultimately pointing to the future, and that the one who is to reign is Jesus Christ Himself. It also believes that the fall of Adam will be undone in this time of “rest.” It states that men and animals will dwell in complete harmony, and that the earth will be able to produce abundant food supply for mankind. This “rest,” according to this view, will truly be a paradise on earth. However, there is a major problem as it handles the remedy to the fall of Adam. While much of the results of the fall are overcome during the millennium, the two exceptions to this are sin and death. These will remain, because God wants all to see the incorrigible nature of man. Sin and death are not abolished until after the millennium (Revelation 21:4, 8). In assigning the future “rest” to the millennium, this view fails to take into account the absence of sin and death in the original sabbath “rest” to which this passage refers.

        The second view of the nature of “rest” is that it refers to the eternal state. This view accepts the context as future “rest,” and likewise accepts the idea that Psalm 95 is picturing a future reign of God and His Son. This view also believes that the fall of Adam will be totally undone, and that there will be no sin and death in the ultimate “sabbath rest.” This view handles more consistently the data of the passage, for the “rest from creation and the future “rest” are analogous. Our ultimate “rest” is still future.

 Summary And Conclusion

        This article asked: “How long was the seventh day?” There are some who believe that the seventh day of Genesis 2:2 has lasted at least several thousand years. They base this on the quote in Hebrews 4:4, which seems on the surface to show that God’s rest has still not ended. It was demonstrated that they have ignored the context of the passage, which issues a solemn warning and promises a future blessing. It was further demonstrated that those who believe in the seventh day as a long time period do not adequately understand the reference to Genesis 2:2 or the (`sabbath rest.” The rest referred to in Hebrews 4:1-11 speaks about a time that will be similar to the first “sabbath rest,” in that there will be no sin or death in the creation. If one desires to make the days of creation more than a solar day, then one must do so from the context of Genesis 1, not Hebrews 4:1-11. The days of creation were six literal days, with God resting on the seventh. Although the seventh day does not have the concluding formula, it is related to the other days from the context. The seventh day was a solar day, just like the other six days.

References

1.  Stanley D. Toussaint, “The Eschatology of the Warning Passages in the Book of Hebrews,” Grace Theological Journal 3: 67-80.

 2.  Ibid, p.68.

3.  Homer Kent, The Epistle to the Hebrews (BMH Books, 1972), p. 68.

4.  Walter Kaiser, “Promise Theme and Theology of Rest,” Bibliotheca Sacra 130: 143.

5.  William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (University of Chicago Press; 1975); pp. 416-417

6.  Kent, p.88.

7.  Thomas Oberholtzer, “The Kingdom Rest in Hebrews 3:1-4:13,” Bibliotheca Sacra 145:191.

8.  Kaiser,: 142.

9.  Ibid, p.143.

 10.  Ibid, p.142.

 11.  Robert Newman, Genesis One and the Origin of the Earth (Baker Book House, 1977), p.65. Emphasis his.

 12.  Gleason Archer, Encylopedia of Bible Difficulties (Zondervan Publishing House, 1982), p.62.

 13.  Kent, p.82.

 14.  Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, (Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1977), pp.160,161.

 15.  Oberholtzer,: 193.

The Meaning of “Day” in Genesis

THE MEANING OF “DAY” IN GENESIS

by James Stambaugh, M.Div.

        The length of the “days” of creation in Genesis has involved a major controversy in Biblical interpretation among evangelicals for over 150 years. Many have sought to redefine the term in light of the naturalistic presuppositions of modern scientism. Therefore, let us attempt, honestly, to examine the evidence from Scripture.

        The communication of language is through words and their use. We must ask ourselves why Moses was using the words he did, and not other words. What is the meaning he was trying to communicate to his original audience and to us, as well? Why did Moses use the word “day” and not the more generic term, “time“? Is there any significance to the repeated use of numbers in the account (“first day,” “second day,” etc.)? Why are these “days” bounded by the terms, “evening and morning“? As we examine the text of Genesis 1, answers to these questions become clear.

THE MEANING OF “DAY”

        Those who argue that the word “day” means “long age,” point out that the Hebrew word, yom, can have a number of meanings, only one of which is “day of 24 hours.” (Ref 1.) They further seek to strengthen their position with the use of Psalm 90:4 and II Peter 3:8, comparing a day to a thousand years. Both of these verses, however, are simply using figures of speech (similes) to show that God is not constrained by the same time parameters as are humans. These verses are really irrelevant to the discussion of the meaning of “day,” in Genesis 1.

        It is recognized, of course, that the word “day” can be used with a number of variations. It can have any of five meanings: 1) a period of light; 2) a period of 24 hours; 3) a general, vague time; 4) a point of time; 5) a year. (Ref 2.) The context determines which of these is intended by the writer. The English language also can have up to 14 definitions for the word “day.” (Ref 3.) The reader should be reminded that the purpose of language is to communicate. Moses wrote in a language that was meant to communicate to his readers. Words must be defined by their relationship to one another. (Ref 4.) Word meaning must be determined from within its context. It will be shown how the context defines the word in Genesis 1. 

        The use of a number with the word “day” is very illuminating. This combination occurs 357 times outside of Genesis 1. The combination is used in four different ways, but each time it is used, it must mean 24-hour periods of time. If the combinations had been intended to mean long periods of time, both the texts and contexts then become meaningless. A typical verse is Genesis 30:36: “And he (Laban) set three days journey betwixt himself and Jacob.” God frequently issued commands that the people were to do or not to do certain things on a given day. This use occurs 162 times. A good example is Exodus 24:16: “And the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days, and on the seventh day He called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.” These are the most typical uses of the word “daywith a number. Four times the terms are used to show a starting point. Ezra 3:6 says, “From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord.” A number may also be used with “day” to convey an ending point. An example is Leviticus 19:6: “It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.” It would appear, then, that whenever the Old Testament uses a number with the wordday,” it means a 24-hour period of time without any demonstrable exception.

        If the meaning of the word “daywith a number always means a 24-hour period of time outside of Genesis 1, then it should also mean a 24-hour period of time inside Genesis 1. The words that Moses used to communicate what God did during creation are very significant. If Moses had meant to signify that the “days” were more than 24 hours in length, he could easily have done so. If we are to understand what Moses wrote, then the language he used must be understood in its normal meaning. The normal meaning is that of 24-hour periods of time.

ABSENCE OF THE ARTICLE

        Once we have determined the meaning of the term “day,” we need also to examine another problem connected with the days of Genesis 1. Some writers have observed the absence of the article from the mention of each of the first five days. They have concluded that Moses must have meant to convey to his readers that at least those days were long periods of time. They have noted that the normal use of the article is to make the noun definite.(Ref 5.)  Gleason Archer makes the following statement: “In Hebrew prose of this genre, the definite article was generally used where the noun was intended to be definite.”(Ref 6.)  The genre, or the form of the literature (i.e., history as opposed to poetry) he is referring to here, is history. Let us see if he is correct in this use of the article.

        The reader must be aware of two points regarding the use of the article in Hebrew. First, the article is usually present in the historical sections of the Old Testament for the sake of definiteness. But this is not always the case. Second, Hebrew has more peculiarities in its use of the article than most languages.(Ref 7.)  This should make the reader very sensitive to the nature of the Hebrew language. The Hebrew language is one that must be observed closely. The most common observation among Jewish and Christian commentators is that the use of the article on the last two days is to show the importance of the sixth and seventh days.(Ref 8.) This also is in full accord with the Hebrew grammatical rule that the article may be used in this manner.(Ref 9.) On the basis of grammar alone, then, we are still justified in our interpretation of “day” being 24 hours in length.

        Also, there is another reason for the absence of the article. It appears that numbers in the Hebrew language have a definitive quality in themselves. Kautzsch refers to them as substantives,(Ref 10.) yet the meaning is the same. A substantive is a noun that one can touch, such as a chair. He cites many examples where the number and noun occur without the article, yet the meaning is definite. There are 13 other occurrences similar to Genesis 1, where the noun does not have the article but is with a number. In each of these other occurrences, the English translation uses the definite article.(Ref 11.)  Therefore, we must conclude that the absence of the article in Genesis 1 does not mean that the days are long periods of time. Moses’ point is still very clear: The days are to be thought of as normal 24-hour days.

EVENING AND MORNING

        The meaning of the term “day” must be seen in conjunction with the use of “evening” and “morning.” Those who would argue that the days are long periods contend that these terms can have figurative meanings.(Ref 12)  But what is their meaning in the context of Genesis 1? We must ask ourselves, how would the people have understood these terms “evening” and “morning?” Is Moses, and by extension, God, trying to deceive us by not telling us the truth about the length of the “days?”

        The Old Testament records 38 times when these two words are used in the same verse. Each time they occur, the meaning must be that of a normal day. Here are a couple of examples to illustrate the point: Exodus 16:8 says, “And Moses said, this shall be when the Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full.” Also Exodus 18:13, “and the people stood by Moses from the morning until the evening.” All the other occurrences are essentially the same. So then, it would appear that when the words “morning” and “evening” are used in the same verse, they must refer to a normal day.

STATEMENT BY GOD

        God did not leave the length of the creation days open to question. He told us the exact length of each day. In Exodus 20:11, He said that in “ the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them and rested on the seventh day.”

        The context of the statement is an emphatic command. God tells the people, “remember” and “keep” the Sabbath. God then tells them how to keep the Sabbath in their daily lives. The people can tell whether they are keeping the Sabbath if they are resting on the seventh day. God then anchors the reality of the present days to the reality of the past days of creation. God has set the pattern of Israel’s work week. The “days” are the same kind of days that the people would have readily known. As it has been demonstrated previously, “day,” used with a number, means a 24-hour day. It seems obvious that all throughout Israel’s history, the people have understood this to mean a 24-hour day. Even those who hold to the long ages of Genesis 1 acknowledge the “days” of Exodus 20:8-11 to be 24-hour days.(Ref 13.) Therefore, the “days” of creation must also have been 24 hours in length.

CONCLUSION

        What can we conclude concerning the length of the “days” of creation? The usage of the word “day,” with a number, means a 24-hour period. The absence of the article does not alter that meaning. Further, the use of “evening” and “morning” indicates that normal time is meant in Genesis 1. God, Himself, said that the creation took only six days. We also must ask ourselves, did Moses and God deceive us by using the word “day,” when it really was a long period of time? If our answer is yes, then we should not use the Bible for any of our beliefs. For, if God can deceive us concerning the events of creation, He might have done that in regards to the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. The bottom line is that we then can have no confidence in God’s Word, if the long-day view is held. It is far better to believe God at His Word, and take the creation days as 24-hour days

References

1.  For typical arguments, examine Davis Young, Creation and the Flood (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977), pp. 83, 84.

2.  Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament , I:371.

3.  Webster’s 20th Century Dictionary, unabridged.

4.  Beekman, John and John CalIow. Translating the Word of God  (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974), p.69.

 5.  Kautzsch, E. Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar , 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1980), p. 404.

 6.  Archer, Gleason. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties  (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982), p. 61.

 7.  Kautzsch, pp.406, 407.

 8.  One should consult Jewish commentators Cassuto, Rashi, and Cohen. Some of the Christian commentators are Keil, Leupold, and E.J. Young.

 9.  Kautzsch, p.408.

10.  Kautzsch, p.432.

 11.  The occurrences are Numbers 11:19; I Samuel 1:1; 1 Chronicles 12:39; II Chronicles 20:25; Ezra 8:15, 32; Nehemiah 2:11; Daniel 1:12, 14,15; 12:12, 13, and Jonah 3:4.

12.  Ross, Hugh. Genesis One: A Scientific Perspective (Sierra Madre: Wiseman Productions, 1983), p.16.

13.  Archer, pp. 116,117, also Henry Alford, The Book of Genesis and Part of Exodus (Minneapolis: Klock and Klock, 1979), pp.313, 314.

 

How Could Fish Survive the Genesis Flood?

How Could Fish Survive the Genesis Flood?

by Kenneth B. Cumming, Ph.D.*

Introduction

        Much attention has been given to how the animals would be brought to, fitin, and survive on Noah’s Ark.1 But little or no concern has been voiced as to how aquatic animals could have lived outside in the Flood. Obviously, terrestrial air-breathing animals could not live through the land-covering deluge, but one would think aquatic animals would be right at home in all that water. Not so!

        Water life has specific physiological and ecological requirements just like terrestrial life.2 A catastrophe the size of the Flood would certainly bring with it gigantic problems affecting the very survival of many species. Indeed, the fossil record indicates that many taxonomic groups became extinct during the deposition of the geologic sedimentary layers.3 Some organisms would have simply succumbed to the trauma of the turbulence. Others would have found suitable living space destroyed, and hence died for lack of appropriate habitat. For example, too much fresh water for obligate (bound to) marine species or vice versa would have led to death of those unable to adapt. Not only are there salt-concentration problems, but also temperature, light, oxygen, contaminants, and nutritional considerations. These must all be evaluated in discussing survival of water-dwelling creatures.

        To simplify the exercise, five examples have been selected of fishes that are bound to fresh or salt water and those that can go between these major habitats. The chosen fishes (sunfish, catfish, trout, eel, and codfish) will be used to represent clear fresh water, muddy fresh water, anadromous (running up to fresh water from sea water to spawn), catadromous (the reverse) and obligate marine habitats or behavior, respectively. These categories will be discussed with reference to three main factors affecting their survival: salinity, temperature, and turbidity.

 PHYSIOLOGICAL RANGES

 Salinity

        Fish have a problem in balancing the fluids outside their bodies with those inside. In general, freshwater fishes are constantly getting too much fresh water in their bodies from food, drinking water, and tissue transfer. On the opposite side, marine fishes get too little fresh water to maintain fluid balance due to the large input of salt in the drinking water and constant osmotic pressure to draw fresh water out of these tissues into the surrounding sea.4

        The kidneys and gills are the two organs used to manage this balance. If a freshwater fish gets too much water, then the kidney is called upon to dump as much water as possible while retaining the circulating salts. Marine bony fish have to get rid of the excess salts largely through the gills and conserve the internal water through resorption.

        Sea-run trout move from sea water to fresh water to spawn, while eels do just the opposite. Both have to be able to reverse their removal of water and salt according to the amount of salt in their environment. Sun fishes and cod remain in fresh water and sea water, respectively, for their whole life cycle. Salt content might range from nearly zero in freshwater to 35 parts per thousand (x103 ppm or 35,000 mg/l) in sea water. Obligate freshwater fish typically have an upper lethal level of seven parts per thousand (7,000 mg/l). Obligate marine species have a very narrow limit of salt tolerance.5 Dromous (running/migrating) species are able to adapt to the new environments by osmotic regulation.

 Temperature

        The range of temperatures tolerated by fishes varies from species to species and the assorted habitats. Some fish have a very narrow range of tolerance at the cold, warm, or hot temperature parts of the heat scale. Others show a wide range of heat tolerance from freezing to hot waters (0-32° C). Developmental stages are frequently limited by narrow temperature requirements within the overall range of the adult.

        Most species, including cold-water types, can tolerate at least brief exposures to 24°C and low temperatures approaching 2°C, as long as there are prolonged acclimation periods (several days to weeks). Preferred temperatures for the representative adult fish are as follows: Trout, 16-21°C; sunfish, 16-28°C; catfish, 21-29°C; eel, probably 16-28°C; codfish 12-16° C. 6,7

 Turbidity

        Particulate matter that is in suspension in natural waters is measured photoelectrically as turbidity. It consists of erosional silt, organic particles, bacteria, and plankton. Such materials adversely affect fish by covering the substrate with a smothering layer that kills food organisms and spawning sites. In addition, the molar action of the silt damages gills and invertebrate respiratory structures. Fish combat such materials by secreting mucus that carries the particles away. Indirectly, turbidity screens out light and decreases the photic zone for photosynthesis. The range of turbidity might be described as: clear < 10 ppm (mg/l), turbid 10 to 250 ppm, and very turbid > 250 ppm. Wallen8 found that many fish species survive turbidities of 100,000 ppm for one week or more.

 SURVIVAL STRATEGY

 Runoff to the Ocean

        Heavy rainfall over the land would quickly fill the river basins with torrential flows. These in turn would empty out onto the encroaching coastline as a freshwater blanket. Odum5 refers to situations similar to this as a “highly stratified or `saltwedge’ estuary.” Such a massive freshwater outflow from the continents would join with the oceanic rainfall to form a halocline or strong density gradient, in which fish flushed out from the land aquatic systems could continue to survive in a freshwater environment. Stratification like this might even survive strong winds, if the freshwater depth was great enough to prevent internal current mixing. Thus, a situation might be envisioned where freshwater and marine fishes could survive the deluge in spite of being temporarily displaced.

 Turbidity Flows

        On the other hand, large turbid particles and enormous bedloads could move into the ocean as settleable particulate rain and ground-hugging slurries. Heavier particles would fall out in the slower-moving coastal waters, and the mudflows would sediment out over the ocean floor. Although there would be turbulence at the freshwater/saltwater interface, the particle insertion would probably occur without appreciable mixing. With the range of tolerance given above, many fishes might be able to survive extended exposure to high turbidity .

 Serendipity at Mount St. Helens

        The biotic recovery at Mount St. Helens after the May 18, 1980 eruption demonstrates rapid and widely ranging restoration. Obviously, the Flood would have been one or more orders of magnitude greater a catastrophe than that eruption. But such an event does help us to see ways of recovery.

        With regard to the three factors of interest (salinity—approximately alkalinity, in the sense of dissolved solutes—, temperature, and turbidity), significant changes were seen in the affected areas (data transformed to units used previously).9

        Still, a little more than a month after the eruption, the lake most exposed to the catastrophic event,SpiritLake, had tolerable alkalinity, ambient temperature, and low turbidity. This is not to deny that all the endemic fish were killed in the event and probably could not have survived if replanted in these waters on June 30, 1980, due to large organic oxygen demands from decaying tree debris and seeps of methane and sulfur dioxide. But within ten years, the lake appears to be able to support fish, as many other aquatic species are back and well established. If the lake were connected directly to theToutleRiver, then salmonids probably would have made their reentry by this time.

        Perhaps the most significant observation, though, in examining the post-eruption history, is that a variety of habitats within and adjacent to the blast zone survived the event with minimal impact on the continuity of the ecosystem.MetaLake, within the blast zone for example, had an ice cover at the time of the searing blast, which protected the dormant ecosystem from experiencing much disruption from the heat, anoxia, and air-fall tephra. Fish and support systems picked up where they left off before the onset of the winter season.

        Similar experiences were observed in Swift Reservoir, in spite of massive mud and debris flows into the lake by way of Muddy Creek (personal conversation with aquatic biologist on duty at that time). Fish were displaced into the adjacent unaffected watersheds or downstream into lower reservoirs. However, within two years, massive plankton blooms had occurred and ecosystem recovery was well underway with migrant recruits.

        Such a confined catastrophe (500 square miles) enables one to project expectations from a major catastrophe, such as the Flood. First, in spite of the enormous magnitude of such events, there appear to be refuges for survival even in close proximity to the most damaging action. Second, recovery can be incredibly fastfrom one month to ten years. Third, recruitment from minimally affected zones can occur with normal migratory behavior of organisms. Although some animal and plant populations or even species might be annihilated in such events, remnant individuals can reestablish new populations.

 References

1.  John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Flood (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co.,1961), pp. 63-79.

2.  M. M. Ellis, “Detection and Measurement of Stream Pollution” inLowellE. Keup, William M. Ingram, and Kenneth M. Mackenthun, Biology of Water Pollution (U.S. Dept. of Interior, Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, 1967), pp. 129-185.

3.  John C. Briggs, “A Cretaceous-Tertiary Mass Extinction?” BioScience 41 (1991), pp. 619-624.

4.  Ernst Florey, An Introduction to General and Comparative Animal Physiology (Philadelphia, W. B. Saunders Co., 1966), pp. 97-110.

5.  Eugene P. Odum, Fundamentals of Ecology (Philadelphia, W. B. Saunders Co., 1971), pp. 328,354.

6.  Alex Calhoun, Inland Fisheries Management (State ofCalifornia , The Resource Agency, Department of Fish and Game, 1966), pp. 194, 375, 448.

7.  William A. Anikouchine and R. W. Sternberg, The World Ocean: An Introduction to Oceanography (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice Hall, Inc., 1973), pp. 215, 223.

8.  I. E. Wallen, “The Direct Effect of Turbidity on Fishes,” Oklahoma Agric. and Mech. College Bulletin 48 (1951), pp. 18-24.

9.  Robert C. Wissmar, Allan H. Devol, Ahmad E. Nevissi, James R. Sedell, “Chemical Changes of Lakes Within the Mount St. Helens Blast Zone,” Science 216 (1982), pp. 175-178.

10.  Robert C. Wissmar, Allan H. Devol, James T. Staley, and James R. Sedell, “Biological Responses of Lakes in the Mount St. Helens Blast Zone,” Science 216 (1981), pp. 178-181.

 

Noah and Human Etymology by Bengt Sage

        As traditions of the universal flood spread around the world with the post-Ararat migrations, the venerable name of Noah traveled with them. This seems especially evident by way of the ancient Sanskrit language and the name Manu. The Sanskrit term may in turn have come from an equivalent word in the so-called “Proto-Indo-European” language.

        Manu was the name of the flood hero in the traditions of India. He, like Noah, is said to have built an ark in which eight people were saved. It is highly probable that Noah and Manu were thus the same individual. “Ma” is an ancient word for “water,” so that Manu could mean “Noah of the waters.” In the Hebrew Old Testament, the words “water” and “waters” are both translations of mayim, with the syllable yim being the standard Hebrew plural ending.

        The “ma” prefix could well be the original form of mar and mer (Spanish and French for, “sea,” both from the Latin mare) and thus of such English words as “marine.”

        In Sanskrit, the name Manu appropriately came to mean “man” or “mankind” (since Manu, or Noah, was the father of all post-flood mankind). The word is related to the Germanic Mannus, the founder of the West Germanic peoples. Mannus was mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus in his book Germania. Mannus is also the name of the Lithuanian Noah. Another Sanskrit form, manusa, is closely related to the Swedish manniska, both words meaning “human being,”

        The same name may even be reflected in the Egyptian Menes (founder of the first dynasty of Egypt) and Minos (founder and first king of Crete). Minos was also said in Greek mythology to be the son of Zeus and ruler of the sea.

        The English word “man” is thus also related to the Sanskrit manu, as well asits equivalents in other Germanic languages. Gothic, the oldest known Germaniclanguage, used the form Manna, and also gaman (“fellow man”).

        The name Anu appears in Sumerian as the god of the firmament, and the rainbow was called “the great bow of Anu,” which seems a clear reference to Noah (note Genesis 9:13). In Egyptian mythology Nu was the god of waters who sent an inundation to destroy mankind. Nu and his consort Nut were deities of the firmament and the rain. Nu was identified with the primeval watery mass of heaven, his name also meaning “sky.”

        In Africa, the king of the Congo (the Congo Empire once included the entire Congo basin, now incorporating the territories of Angola, Zaire, Cabinda and the Congo Republic) was called Mani Congo. “Mani” was a noble rank given to great chiefs, ministers, governors, priests and the king himself. This empire, in fact, was once called the Manikongo Empire.

        In Europe, the prefix “ma” seems often to have taken the form da, which is an old word for “water” or “river.” This led to the name “Don” in England and Russia and “Danube” in the Balkans. The first Greeks living in the coastal regions were called Danaoi, or “water people.” Variants of the name Danube have included Donau, Dunaj, Duna, Dunau, and Dunay. The root of all of these names is danu, which means “river” or “flowing.” The Latvian river Dvina was formerly called Duna, so it also is from the same Indo-European root word danu. The similarity of danu to manu is evident.

        From India, the Sanskrit “manu” also traveled east. In Japan, “manu” became “maru,” a word which is included in the name of most Japanese ships. In ancient Chinese mythology, the god Hakudo Maru came down from heaven to teach people how to make ships. This name could well relate to Noah, the first shipbuilder.

        The custom of including “maru” in the names of Japanese ships seems to have started between the 12th and 14th centuries. In the late 16th century, the warlord Hideyoshi built Japan’s first really large ship, calling it “Nippon Maru.” In Japanes “maru” also seems to mean a round enclosure, or circle of refuge, so that the circle is considered to be a sign of good fortune. Noah’s ark, of course, had been the first great enclosure of refuge.

        The aboriginals of Japan are called Ainu, a word which means “man.”The word mai denotes “aboriginal man” in some of the Australian aboriginal languages. In Hawaii, mano is the word for “shark,” as well as the name for the shark god. A hill on the island of Molokai is named Puu Mano (“hill of the shark god”). The word for “mountain” is mauna, and it may also be that Hawaii’s great volcanic mountains (Mauna Loa, for example, is the largest and most active volcano in the world)reminded its first settlers of Mount Ararat, also a great volcanic mountain, so that they named such mountains after the name of their ancestor Manu or Noah. Ararat, by the way, is the same as Armenia in the Bible. The prefix “Ar” means “Mountain,” so that “Armenia” probably means “the mountain of Meni.”

        On the American continent, “manu” seems to have been modified into several forms. In the Sioux language, it took the form minne, meaning “water.” Thus, Minneapolis means “city of water,” Minnesota means “sky blue water,” etc. In the Assiniboine language, “minnetoba” meant “water prairie.” This name is preserved in the Canadian province of Manitoba. However, this word may also have been derived from the Cree and Ojibiva-Saulteaux languages, in which “manitoba” meant “the place of the Great Spirit.” Manitou (“the Great Spirit”) was the chief god among Algonquins.

        Even in South America can be found traces of the ancient name Manu. The nameof Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, comes from the Nahuatl managuac, which means “surrounded by ponds.”

        Francisco Lopez de Gomara, secretary to the Conqueror Cortez, has given an account of the fabled city of Manoa, supposed to be the capital of El Dorado, the city of gold. Manoa (meaning “Noah’s water”) was said to be a dead city high in the Sierra Parina between Brazil and Venezuela. The Brazilian city Manaus on the Amazon River was named after the aboriginal Indian tribe Manau which once dominated the region. In Bolivia there is a town of Manoa and a river called Manu in Peru. In fact, several rivers include “manu” in their names—Muymanu, Tahuamanu, Pariamanu, Tacuatimanu, etc. In the Department of Madre de Dios, where all these rivers are located, “manu” is understood to mean “river” or “water.” One of the provinces of this department is, in fact, named Manu and another Tahuamanu.

        The Egyptian hieroglyph for “water” was written as a wavy line. When the alphabet was invented, this symbol became the letter “m,” representing mayim, the Semitic word for “water.” In the Phoenician of 1300-1000 B.C. it was called Mem, which was later called Mu in Greek and finally Em among the Romans.

        Another reflection of the name Noah may have been the Assyrian word for “rain,” zunnu. Janus, the two-headed god (from which the name of our month of January is derived) was regarded by the earliest inhabitants of Italy as both the father of the world and the inventor of ships, later as the god of portals. All of these concepts would be appropriate for Noah. It is not impossible that the name Janus could originally have been a combination of “Jah” and “Noah,” thus meaning “Noah’s Lord.”

        In Norse mythology, Njord was the god of ships, living at Noatun, the harbor of ships. In this language, the syllable “noa” is related to the Icelandic nor, meaning “ship.”

        Similarly the original Sanskrit word for “ship” is nau. This root has developed even in English into such words as “navy,” “nautical,” “nausea,” etc. This word could very well be still another variant of “Noah,” the first master shipbuilder. Further, there is Ino, a sea-goddess in Greek mythology, and the Greek word naiade, meaning “river nymph.” Many other examples might be cited.

        Thus, Noah and the waters of the great Flood are not only recalled in the ancient traditions of all nations, but their names have also become incorporated in many and varied ways into the very languages of his descendants. The trails are tenuous and often almost obliterated, so that some of the inferred connections are speculative and possibly mistaken, but the correlations are too numerous to be only coincidental, thus adding yet one more evidence for the historicity of the worldwide Flood.

References

1. This study is necessarily exploratory and somewhat speculative. Nevertheless, it is fascinating, and the etymological correlations seem too numerous and detailed to be coincidental.

2.  See the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology.

3.  Tacitus, The Agricula and the Germania, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1970, p. 102.

4.  Kolosimo, Peter, Not of This World, London, England: Sphere Books, Ltd., 1975, p. 171.

5.  See the Syensk Etymologisk Ordbok.

6.  Ceram, C. W., Gods, Graves and Scholars, Middlesex, England: Penguin Pelican Books, 1974, pp. 79-83.

7.  Sandars, N. K, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Middlesex, England: Penguin Classics, 1960.

8. Tomas, Andrew, Atlantis from Legend to Discovery, London: Sphere Books, Ltd., 1972, p. 25.

9. Spence, Lewis, Myths and Legends of Egypt, London: George C. Haffap & Co., Ltd., 1915.

10. Hall, Richard, Discovery of Africa, Melbourne, Australia: Sun Books, Ltd., 1970, p. 67.

11. See article on El Correo, published by Unesco, April 1960, p. 27.

12. See National Geographic Magazine, October 1977, p. 458.

13. There is no actual documentation of a phonetic change from “ma” to “da,” although such would have been quite possible, especially in view of the similar meanings of derivatives.

14. Furneaux, Rupert, Ancient Mysteries, London: Futura Publications, Ltd., 1976.

15. Pukui, Mary Kawens, and Elbert, Samuel H., Place Names of Hawaii, Honolulu:University of Hawaii Press, 1966.

16. See brochure published by Manitoba Historical Society in Winnipeg, Canada.

17. Kolosimo, Peter, Timeless Earth, London: Sphere Books, Ltd., 1974, pp. 136, 215.

18. Laird, Charlton, The Miracle of Language, New York: Fawcett World Library, 1967, p. 177.

19. Pei, Mario, Language for Everybody, New York: Pocket Books, Inc., 1958, p. 182.

20. Cleator, P.E., Lost Languages, New York: New American Library of World Literature, 1962, p. 105.

21. Filby, Frederick A., The Flood Reconsidered, London: Pickering and Inglis, 1970, pp. 55-57.

22.  Hellquist, Elof, Svensk Etymologisk Ordbok, Lund, Sweden: C.W.K. Gleerups Forlag, 1966, p.701.

23.  Cuerber, H. A., The Myths of Greece and Rome, London: George G. Harrap and Co.,                                                                                                                                       Ltd., 1948, p.235.

Dragons or Dinosaurs

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DRAGONS OR DINOSAURS?

Dragon images and legends exist all over the world and in nearly every culture. But what if dragons were actually dinosaurs? The popular understanding of the dinosaur era is often used to discredit the Bible’s teachings of creation, a young earth, and Noah’s flood. But what if the existence of dinosaurs actually proves what the Bible says?!

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